Manawatu shoppers top spending figures

It's a Christmas gorge-fest in Palmerston North this year.

Spending figures for the first half of December, released by Paymark this afternoon, show that shoppers in the Palmerston North region, including Horowhenua, are filling their bags 9.5 per cent more than over the same period last year.

This is the highest increase in New Zealand, equal with Marlborough.

The region has spent $73.2 million over the two weeks, on Paymark's network that accounts for three quarters of electronic card spending.

Nationally, spending was up 7.7 per cent on the first two weeks in December last year, higher than the 5.7 per cent average spending increase seen during the first 11 months of the year.

Paymark spokesman Mark Spicer said last Friday, December 13, was the busiest shopping day of the month and second busiest of the year so far.

Sectors reaping the benefits of the Christmas build-up include accommodation providers up 11.7 per cent and hospitality.

Restaurants, bars and cafes had a 9.9 per cent increase, liquor retailers had a 10.6 per cent increase and takeaways had 10.5 per cent.

Electronics retailers also showed strong gains over the fourteen day period, up 9.1 per cent, possibly buoyed by the recent launch of gaming consoles and the strong Kiwi dollar lowering electronic goods prices, Spicer said.

Manawatu Standard